Milliner Tops At Local Development Network Awards

17 May 2019 | 12.32 pm

Milliner Tops At Local Development Network Awards

Lady Gaga likes Margaret O’Connor’s headgear

17 May 2019 | 12.32 pm

County Clare milliner Margaret O’Connor has been named as overall winner of the local development network’s Enterprise Awards.

According to the network, O’Connor (pictured), who lives in Tubber, Co Clare, “interprets Irish tradition and historicism through her own personal awakening”. She has ceratianly awoken the admiration of celebrities such as Lady Gaga, who wears hats from her collection, and even Finbar Furey.

O’Connor was trained by leading milliners, among them Philip Tracey, Noel Stewart, Yvette Jelfs, Kristen Scott and Sarah Cant, and her collection stretches from eclectic haute couture and commercial pieces through to event and occasion wear.

The 17 awards finalists had at some stage been in receipt of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance and/or were supported by the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme via local development companies.

Joint second prize went to Dubliner Daniel Nugent of Ambr Eyewear and Wicklow entrepreneur Sukhvinder Kaur for her spices business Sukhi’s India.

With a strong marketing background, Nugent set out to found his own business when he faced redundancy in 2017, and finally settled on specially designed eyeglasses to reduce eyestrian for people who spent long hours on computers.

Kaur set up Sukhi’s India in 2017, using flavours from Punjab to create freshly ground packs of spices, spice mix, and flours using recipes which have been in her family for generations. The products are now sold through SuperValu outlets in Co Wicklow, butchers’ and fishmongers’ shops, Avoca in Ballsbridge, and Nature’s Gold health food stores. 

Judging panel chairwoman Jackie Harrington said: “The standard and quality of the business concepts this year have surpassed all expectations and show the benefits of these schemes in financially supporting people with business ideas.”

The awards were presented by social protection minister Regina Doherty, who added: “I want to congratulate and thank the worthy award winners. Through their creativity, determination, business acumen and hard work, they have shown what can be achieved through the BTWEA and STEA schemes with the support of LDCs.  

“They have created their own jobs and created jobs for others in their communities, and their achievements are a shining light for all of us all. I am delighted to acknowledge these inspiring people in communities and regions around Ireland, and demonstrate what can be achieved with a good idea and dedication.”

Pix: Barry Cronin/www.barrycronin.com

 

 

 

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